Not unlike other developing countries in the world, the nations of the Caribbean region embrace the promise of early childhood education for boosting children’s early intellectual and social development (Davies, 1997; Logie & Roopnarine, 2013; UNICEF, 2008). Accordingly, policymakers, educators, and civil society groups see early childhood education as a way of reducing poverty and increasing social and cultural capital development in the long run. Nonetheless, as in other low- and middle-income countries, early childhood education in the Caribbean is intimately tied to economic conditions, political will and commitment at the societal level to advance the rights and welfare of children, parents’ and teachers’ beliefs about what constitutes early childhood education, teacher training, and quality curriculum. In this chapter, we present a general overview of the state of early childhood education mainly in the English-speaking Caribbean countries, though from time to time reference is made to common underlying mechanisms tied to the broader linguistically and ethnically diverse countries in the region (see Table 2.1). An attempt is made to address some of the more salient factors around the evolving nature of early childhood education: cultural belief systems or ethnotheories about early childhood development, curriculum models, and the salubrious effects of preschool education on children’s early cognitive and social skills.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Social Sciences